Statewide texting ban, stricter restrictions on teen drivers to clear Ohio Legislature

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio teens could not use their cellphones, iPads or other electronic devices while driving under a bill poised to clear the state Legislature on Tuesday.

All drivers also would be banned from texting, though young drivers could more easily be pulled over for the offense.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the measure would be among the broadest in the country in terms of teen distracted driving restrictions. The organization says texting while driving is already prohibited in 38 states.

Ohio's bill would make texting behind the wheel a minor misdemeanor, with possible fines of $150. The measure wouldn't trump city ordinances on texting or cellphone use that might be tougher.

Some lawmakers contend the legislation chips away at personal freedom, while others argue it doesn't go far enough.

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